A Virgin Dream

If you care enough to send the very best, how about a ticket into space with Richard Branson and Lance Bass?

Forget the dream cruise, all-inclusive Caribbean retreat or family reunion trip. If you really want to impress family, friends and colleagues, cough up $200K (each) and book passage on Sir Richard Branson’s latest folly.

I mean, Spaceship Two, due for its virgin blast in a couple of years. Give or take.

This media-savvy, mogul’s mogul swept away a contingency of feted journos during a press “event” recently regarding Branson’s out-of-this-world space craft. And then the rest of us got in on those amazing photos of his IFO in California’s Mojave Desert.

Cool! You may even be familiar with the celeb-crowded passenger list, which supposedly includes Victoria Principal (who?), Stephen Hawking and eventually (most likely), Lance Bass. Maybe Principal and Bass can exchange skin care products while Hawking invents a new theory of relativity.

Anyway, cool!

The Brit adventurer (and gazillionaire), perhaps a wee bored with his private island, domestic airline and other mavericky projects, has been excitedly readying this Jetsons’-like “Mothership” launch like a geek tackling a new Lego set.
Good for him. I mean, what’s a billionaire to do with all these off-the-grid ideas and bottomless pockets? Why not spend time enticing wealthy celebrities, scientists and thrill-seekers to take the double-dare of experiencing weightlessness for five whole minutes?
It’s a Hollywood wet dream — weighing nothing! After all, most of those anorectic actors are always trying to get back to their birth weight anyway, so this is win/win!
For just $200,000!  Cheaper than a year of Jenny Craig!
I’m not implying that the money invested is a shameful waste of finances, brain power, (not to mention human lives) all for a self-centric dreamer’s dream. (Cough, Bill Gates, cough.) Heavens, no! Branson is our Thomas Edison or maybe a less-portly Benjamin Franklin! He’s inventing stuff! Think of all the jobs Branson and his engineers created!
The sheer spectacle of his Spruce Goose is simply thrilling and, most importantly, Branson’s Flying Circus continues to creates jobs. Not to mention publicity for someone who gets to be called “Sir” and also “Virgin.” Go figure.
Here’s another reason Branson’s new toy is good for the economy: the covetous hoi polloi want to read about it. The journalists need to cover it. The rogue faux newscasters make fun of it and once again, everybody makes money, thus everybody wins.
Here’s another little-discussed thing. It turns out that when the Branson’s Space Phallic-Symbol takes off from a dusty New Mexico town named Truth or Consequences (TOC to New Mexicans), that miniscule dot of a village will become something more than evoke the origin of a creaky television show eons past. The cafes (I think there are two) will bustle. The museum will get aired out and the mineral spas will be “discovered.”
What a great way to spend so much money!